Algeria child trafficking - 13 in court

2013-05-27 17:42

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Algiers - Thirteen people, including dual nationality French-Algerians, went on trial in Algiers on Monday accused of kidnapping Algerian children and selling them for adoption in France.

The case first emerged in 2009 and the prosecution alleges the defendants kidnapped an unknown number of children and transported them to the French city of Saint-Etienne, where they were adopted for a fee.

Seven of the accused appeared in court for the start of the trial, which has been repeatedly delayed, but none of the French suspects of Algerian origin living in Saint-Etienne were present.

"There was no appropriation of children," said Allel Boutouili, the lawyer of the main suspect, Dr Khelifa Hanouti, who has been in jail since March 2009.

"The only woman on whom the entire investigation rests has said that her twins, Ahlem and Katia, were kidnapped and sold to a couple living in France," Boutouili told AFP.

But according to documents in his possession, the lawyer said the two girls, who were born in 1997, were adopted by a woman living in Algiers.

Dr Hanouti is accused of illegally transferring children abroad with the help of a notary, who is charged with falsifying "disclaimer documents," signed by single mothers.

The investigation into the case was first launched after a young woman died in 2009 during an abortion at a clinic in the Algiers suburb of Ain Taya that belonged to the main suspect.

Boutouili said his client had initially been prosecuted for performing illegal abortions but this charge was finally dropped.

Abortion is a crime

Dr Hanouti had been convicted on the same charge in 2002, and handed a two-year jail sentence, of which he served nine months before being freed.

Abortion is a crime in Algeria and women patients risk two years in prison, while doctors can be jailed for up to five.

"The other accused, Boualem Ibari, who lives in Saint-Etienne, adopted two boys from the Ain Taya nursery, according to Algerian procedures," the lawyer said.

"He was even authorised by the court of Rouiba [near Ain Taya] to change their names and take them out of Algeria on his passport," he added.

Hamid Touliba, another lawyer for Dr Hanouti, said "all the adoptions in this case took place according to the law, with authentic documents, and none of the biological mothers filing a complaint."

The charges of those on trial include criminal conspiracy, transporting children with premeditation, forgery and impersonation.

Read more on:    algeria  |  child abuse  |  north africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.